As a business owner, you may have chosen an SEO company to work with after carefully vetting them through reviews, social media accounts, and firsthand perspectives from current or previous clients. However, even after working with them for a while, you may not see the desired results. This could be due to communication errors, mismanaged expectations, or budget surprises that are not in your favor.
If you have concerns about your SEO agency's performance and have given them ample time to address issues, it may be time to consider parting ways.
This article will cover common red flags that indicate a poor agency-business relationship.
Effective communication is key in any business relationship, and in SEO, it’s detrimental. Strategy sessions, updates, and check-ins can help progress the SEO campaign and ensure it reaches your goals. If the agency is not transparent about its strategies, results, or changes to your website, that can be a red flag.
Additionally, be cautious if the agency promises quick, guaranteed results. SEO is a gradual process, and no one can guarantee instant success.
To avoid this, communicate your expectations regarding transparency. Ask for detailed reports and regular updates on the strategies being implemented. If the agency is unwilling to provide transparency, consider finding an agency that values open communication.
Billing issues can be problematic if there is a lack of clear communication between the agency and the customer. Suppose you notice any inconsistencies in billing or unexpected charges or need clarification on what services are included in the fees. In that case, clarifying these details before signing any contracts is important. If you encounter any unexpected charges or inconsistencies, it is important to address them immediately with the agency. If the problem persists, consider finding an agency with transparent and straightforward billing practices.
Unsatisfactory Results Or No Results
If you have hired an agency to improve your website's performance, rankings, and organic traffic but do not see the expected results, it could be a sign that the agency is not delivering as promised.
A reliable SEO agency should provide you with regular reports detailing your website's performance, including key metrics such as traffic, conversions, and rankings. Failing to provide this information makes it hard to assess their impact.
However, it's important to note that there could be instances where technical issues or indexing problems are the underlying cause. If this happens, you should work closely with your agency to monitor the situation and see if the problem is resolved.
If you have any concerns, discuss them with the agency and ask for a detailed analysis of their current strategy. If adjustments are made but improvements are not seen, consider exploring other agencies with a proven track record of delivering results in your industry.
Black Hat SEO Techniques
As mentioned earlier, any SEO agency that promises quick and guaranteed results should be considered suspicious. This is because there is no guarantee in SEO, and those who make such claims could be using unethical and manipulative tactics known as black-hat SEO.
If you work with an agency that uses these tactics, you risk penalties and long-term damage to your online presence. Therefore, it is crucial to educate yourself about ethical SEO practices and ask the agency to explain their strategies. If they continue to engage in unethical practices, it is advisable to terminate the relationship and find an agency committed to white-hat SEO.
Constant Strategy Changes
SEO requires a long-term strategy. Any sudden or frequent changes without proper reasons may indicate a lack of expertise or understanding of your business by the agency. Although algorithmic changes can lead to the need for strategy modifications, the agency should always discuss and seek your approval before making any changes.
It is important to discuss the reasons behind frequent changes with the agency. The changes may be acceptable if they provide valid justifications and insights. But if the changes appear arbitrary, finding an agency with a more stable and strategic approach towards SEO may be better.
Lack of Industry Knowledge
An SEO agency should have a good understanding of your industry. If they lack knowledge about your business niche, target audience, or competitors, their ability to create effective SEO strategies may be compromised.
Provide the agency with detailed information about your industry, target audience, and competitors. It might be worth giving them a chance if they are willing to learn and adapt. Otherwise, explore agencies with expertise in your specific industry.
Suppose your agency is creating content and acquiring links for your website, but you're not seeing any positive results. In that case, it might indicate that the quality of the deliverables is poor, and they do not comply with Google's guidelines.
For example, thin content is easy to produce in large quantities but won't rank on search engine result pages (SERPs) as it doesn't provide valuable information. Similarly, links can be acquired in large numbers, but if they are low-quality and spammy, they won't benefit your website. Even worse, your site could be penalized for participating in spammy link building tactics.
Instead, your agency should focus on producing comprehensive and unique content that is helpful to your audience. The links they acquire should be trustworthy, authoritative, and relevant to your website's content. It's important to remember that Google values relevancy and trustworthiness over link quantity.
It's a good idea to ask your agency for a running list of their content creation and link acquisition activities. This lets you stay informed about your website's SEO strategy and deliverables. If your agency is unwilling to share this information, it's time to consider switching to a different agency.
It's crucial to keep an eye out for these red flags when working with an SEO agency. If you notice any of these signs, don't hesitate to address them with your agency. It's always better to address issues early on before they become bigger problems that could negatively impact your business's online presence.